Rose Petal Beads

Roses are red … for a while.  And then come late February, my beautiful Valentine’s Day present turns into this.

Since I’m a little bit of a sentimentalist (a.k.a. hoarder), I like to hold onto these things! I have my 1 year anniversary flowers hanging in the kitchen …

… and then there’s Valentine’s Day 2011, which didn’t end up as pretty.

So since I save these things anyway, I decided it was high time to put them to good use. I found this really cool craft for turning old flowers into beautiful works of art that you can wear all the time to remember the reason you got the flowers in the first place.

The idea was inspired my darling mother and my very sweet (and much missed) grandmother. When my grandma died, my mom found a woman who  turned the flowers from the funeral into beautiful jewelry to remember Grandma by. They turned out absolutely gorgeous!

I wrote an article for American Cheerleader magazine last year about this craft and some other cute things to do with your old flowers, and I wanted to be sure to pass it along on EmJoyable. It takes quite a few petals to do this, I’d say about 2 – 3 dozen roses worth (depending on how many beads you want, of course), but I think that with this year’s petals added to my collection, I will have just enough! I had every intention of making these today until I realized I do not have a blender. #fail! I will certainly get my hands on one this weekend and post pictures of my finished product!

Rose Petal Beads

Dried rose petals (you can also use fresh petals if you want to retain the scent)
Cheesecloth (which you can find at a grocery, craft or hardware store)
Small block of Styrofoam  (I just use a piece of the packaging from a waffle iron or something like that that I have lying around.)

1) Remove the petals from the rest of the flower and place them in a blender.

2) Add just enough water to cover the petals.

3) Blend the petals on high for 10 seconds at a time until they’re smooth and reach the consistency of thick soup. (Tip! If you added too much water, you can strain the extra in the next step.)

4) Spread cheesecloth over a bowl and pour the petal mixture into a pile in the center. Pull the corners of the cheesecloth together and squeeze out all excess water from the mixture—careful not to remove so much that it becomes a stiff clump.

5) Take a little of the mixture and work into a ball about the size of a marble.

6) Use a toothpick to make a hole in the bead. Leave the bead on the toothpick and stick it into a piece of Styrofoam—making sure the bead does not touch the surface. Continue making beads until you run out of petal mush.

7) Leave them in a cool, dry place for several days to harden up. Twist them slightly every day so they don’t stick to the toothpick. When they’re completely dry, remove each from the toothpick and string on fish line or jewelry wire to make a necklace or bracelet.

What do you do with your old flowers?!